Hackers have used all sorts of attack vectors to gain ascendancy of addition else’s computer, from USB drives to phishy emails. Now, advisers from the University of Washington adumbrate that we might one day see bacilli infect systems through DNA.

It’s a adopted case, but still worth cerebration about. The group of scientists who are attractive into this at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering explain in its paper that it’s attainable to bake malware into a abiogenetic atom and have it infect a system that’s used to assay it.

This method could be used to target university computer networks, police forensics labs and scientists’ assay facilities, by adding the malware could be added to faked blood or saliva samples.

The advisers noted that this isn’t an actual cause for affair because, for one thing, they tested the attack in highly unsecure altitude (including a compromised piece of DNA assay software). However, their work shows that it is attainable to add malware to abiogenetic material, and as this field grows and becomes more accessible, we’ll want to think about implementing aegis measures to ensure that our systems and DNA can’t be tampered with.

The group will present their paper (PDF) at the USENIX Aegis Symposium later this month in Vancouver, Canada.


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